WEIHAI, Shandong Province, April 15 (Xinhua) -- When two pairs of rare deer and goats from Taiwan arrive on the Chinese mainland Saturday, they are unlikely to feel unaccustomed to their food.
Since the Liugongdao National Forest Park was chosen to accommodate the animals donated by Taiwan's Taipei Zoo in late 2009, experts from the park, the Chengdu-based Deyang Luxin Forestry and Agricultural Products Co. Ltd., and the Taipei Zoo have developed tasty and safe menus for the four animals.
The rare goats and deer native to Taiwan are an exchange for a pair of giant pandas the mainland offered Taiwan in 2008. The pandas currently live at the Taipei Zoo after arriving on the island.
Wang Jiansong, head of the park, said experts from both sides of the Taiwan Strait held extensive exchanges on how to prepare the menu.
The park sent two breeders assigned to the pair of critically endangered Sika deer to the Taipei Zoo for training last year. This year, two breeders for the pair of serows, a small but agile mountain goat, were also trained at the Taipei Zoo.
There, the breeders stayed with the pairs of animals around the clock, familiarizing themselves with the animals' dietary habits and the zoo staff's breeding methods.
The Taipei Zoo provided the park with two extensive menus, one for each pair, that specify the types and amounts of food, breeding times and other useful information.
The menus also offer various breeding and feeding tips. One feeding tip instructs breeders where to hold leaves, carrots, sweet potatoes and water.
A plane will carry the animals from the zoo in Taiwan to the park in Weihai, a city in east China's Shandong Province, as well as one week's worth of food prepared by the staff of the Taipei Zoo.
According to Wang, this will help the animals adjust to their new environment and avoid risks in the process, though food produced in the mainland has been tested to be safe.
After their first week on the mainland, the goats and deer will feed on food produced in the mainland. The park and agricultural company will team up to feed the animals leaves from mulberry and elm trees grown on Liugongdao Island, where the forest park is located.
Three large greenhouses have been built to grow nearly 4,000 mulberry and elm trees. Eventually, 8,000 of these trees will be grown so the animals can enjoy fresh leaves year-round.
The agricultural company will provide a supplementary batch of fresh leaves in the months before June, a time when Liugongdao Island's mulberry and elm trees will have not yet budded.
Like the pandas that debuted to zoo visitors one month after arriving in Taiwan, the pairs of goats and deer will be quarantined for 30 days before being shown to public.
However, two cameras in their rooms will give the public an opportunity to see them through live television and Internet broadcasts, according to Wang.
He said the park will announce the end of the quarantine period and welcome visitors to come meet the animals